OWFI: Online, Wii, Facebook, iPhone Games

Posts Tagged ‘zynga’

Review: Mafia Wars (Free), Zynga, Facebook

Posted by Appgamr on July 13, 2009

Cue Sopranos music.

Cue Sopranos music.

What is the most popular game on Facebook?  In my social network, it is Mafia Wars, the free Facebook game published by Zynga, also known for its Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Game.  Anecdotally, the most popular Facebook games are Pet Society (Playfish), Restaurant City (Playfish), Mafia Wars (Zynga), Texas Hold ‘Em (Zynga), each with distinct audiences.

Zynga games appeal to transactions-oriented folks and Playfish games appeal to easy-going hanging out and sharing folks.

My b-school friend Mark is addicted to Mafia Wars.  He just won a Mafia Wars award “Dependability” for playing every day for seven days.  Mark is a senior manager at a large organization; I think he’s acting out turn by turn mob hits and grand larceny for one hour every night.  If he were paid actual $$$ for 7 hours per week, 4 weeks per month, 12 months per year, it starts becoming big bucks quickly.

Mafia Wars is a choose-your-own Sopranos adventure that lets you go at your own pace.  In my opinion, it is an interactive graphic novel or book.  Its unique appeal is that it can involve your Facebook friends and family members in the storytelling.  You’re sharing your entertainment and making it open to your friends at their option.

Zynga offers a Facebook game called Fashion Wars, which is similar in concept except set in the cutthroat Project Runway style fashionista world.

In comparison, Playfish’s Pet Society and Restaurant City are about hanging out in cute, colorful interactive worlds and giving your friends cuddly animal hugs and delicious pizzas.

Readers, which Facebook games do you prefer, those of Playfish or Zynga?



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Review: Scramble (Free): Zynga, Facebook, iPhone

Posted by Appgamr on June 29, 2009

My all-time favorite word puzzler is Scramble on Facebook, also available on iPhone.  However, there are good reasons to prefer Scramble on Facebook over iPhone.

Quick, find the words!

Quick, find the words!

First, iPhone isn’t Facebook, meaning you can’t challenge your Facebook friends to word games, though you can find random friends on iPhone.  (However, Facebook Connect on the iPhone and ngmoco’s Plus+ may change this.)  Second, QWERTY word puzzlers on a proper keyboard is much easier to play than on the touch screen iPhone.  In fact, I’m not sure why people bother playing any word puzzlers on the iPhone.

I have a friend Lauren who seems obsessed with word games.  Scramble on the Facebook tells you when your friends last played the game.  Creepy, but knowing minute daily details of random friends is how Facebook rolls.  She seems to check in an play the game for an hour every single day.  I am a good speller, having won my region’s middle school spelling bee, and have attained a roughly 2,000 high score to her roughly 4,000 high score.

I think she is a big nerd.

Then again, though I am handy with vocabulary and an above average speller, I hate crossword puzzles and don’t understand why people like Sudoku.  In fact, I’ve never bothered to find out what Sudoku is.  Though I have the skills to be a worldclass Scrabble player (I have the verbal SAT scores to prove it), I’ve never bothered to learn Scrabble rules or strategies.

I suspect, if you love crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and Scrabble, you might be a big nerd like Lauren and play this addictive free game everyday until you’ve exhausted its possibilities.  (The word puzzles repeat, that is, the same words recur as problems, after a few hours of play.)  You might even want to play on the iPhone.

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Review: YoVille (Free): Zynga, Facebook

Posted by Appgamr on June 24, 2009

Like home decoration?  YoVille on Facebook is for you.

Like home decoration? YoVille on Facebook is for you.

I’ve been following YoVille for about a year now.  Believe it or not, YoVille, the Facebook hangout, was founded by a lone guy entrepreneur in the middle of the country, Kansas or Illinois, I think.  Zynga, best known for Texas Hold’Em, acquired this budding, Facebook-distributed virtual world and YoVille has grown to several hundred thousand active users per month.

Second Life, Gaia Online, Habbo Hotel, Club Penguin are online hangouts of the same genre.  Notably, Club Penguin, acquired by Disney, is strictly monitored for safety and targets very young kids, ages 5 to 10.  All use Flash and cater to users who want to furnish their homes with graphic couches, antiques, rugs, furniture, pictures, tableware, and other home accessories.  Users also buy graphics of clothing, like sunglasses, T-shirts, and blouses.

These graphics, known as virtual goods, are bought and sold with real money.  Sometimes microtransactions or subscriptions is used to describe the practice of real people, paying real $5 to $50 per month, for graphics the size of thumbnails no one can see except in YoVille or another site.  Some virtual goods operators are reportedly clearing over $10M per month. Read the rest of this entry »

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